Ash Barty reads to students for Festival of Learning
Ash Barty returned to her school days when she conducted a reading event for young students as part of the Festival of Learning in Springfield City today.
Ms Barty was a student at Springfield city’s Woodcrest State College when she began a remarkable tennis career that included victories at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and the World No.1 ranking.
She is now retired and enjoying her first months as a mum but took part today in one of the many activities for the annual Festival of Learning, which is run by the Greater Springfield Learning Coalition (GSLC) that includes 11 schools in the city.
Ms Barty read one of her Little Ash books to students from Prep to Year 2 at Springfield Central State School in an event livestreamed across all GSLC schools for students of similar age.
It was one of many events at the Festival of Learning, which began last week and runs until Friday, encouraging creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship across arts and culture, STEM, sport, sustainability and music.
“I have always loved reading. My Mum and Dad instilled a love of reading in my sisters and I when we were very young and it is a passion that has stayed with me,” Ms Barty said.
“My niece Lucy was my inspiration for the Little Ash series so being able to read together at Lucy’s school was special. I loved meeting her classmates and taking questions from so many different schools in the Springfield community.
“I’ve always wanted to contribute to children’s education and the Little Ash books have been a wonderful step in that direction. I am really looking forward to creating more books for kids and encouraging young people to enjoy reading.”
The Greater Springfield Learning Coalition is a unique partnership between the city’s principals from across State and private sectors who discuss ways that they can improve their approach to teaching and offer their students exciting and innovative learning experiences.
Dr Richard Eden, Springfield City Group’s Executive General Manager – Education and Smart City, is also the founder and Chairman of The Festival of Learning Ltd set up to run the Festivals said the Festival of Learning had been embraced by schools and students. Dr Eden said it was lowering the boundaries between the schools and encouraging collaboration. This is the third Festival, operating every alternate year.
“Springfield city was established 30 years ago on the pillars of education, health and innovation and the Festival of Learning helps to engage young people across the Learning Coalition and showcase to the community a Learning City in action,” Dr Eden said.
“This year’s Festival of Learning features innovation across so many fields from literacy exercises to a maths competition at Ash Barty’s former school to outdoor site tours for AFL and AFLW at the Brisbane Lions, cricket with Queensland Cricket, a Mater Hospital tour or Budding Engineers on site with BMD Urban. It also includes a Music Showcase and more focussed opportunities like a ukulele masterclass for primary school students. We want to provide opportunities for students whatever their interests.
“We thank Ash for reading to so many young people today, showing them a love of reading and learning. Ash is such a wonderful ambassador for this city and for her country and we are delighted that she was able to join the 2023 Festival of Learning.”
Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby AM said the city would always promote the value of learning.
“Springfield City is truly committed to fostering the brainpower that can fuel the future of Australia in this era of innovation,” Mr Sinnathamby said.
“Education is the currency of the future. Education is the only currency that you can cash in anywhere in the world. And it is the only currency that can’t be stolen from the owner. Australia needs more of that education currency here. It’s our passport to the future success of this country.”